The July Recap (Welcome Back!)

Hi, friends! What a wonderful summer it’s been thus far! As much as I enjoyed every minute of the blog break, I must say it truly solidified just how much I enjoy creating content. Sharing through words, mood boards and photos is a passion gifted to me and I’m grateful for this community and the ability to do what I love. Hopefully you were able to keep up over on social media but if not, don’t worry. Grab whatever sounds most delicious right now (lemonade? iced coffee? a stack of pancakes?) and settle in for a nice long update on what I ate, wore, read, listened to and watched in July. 

We took a week long tip to L.A. with the kids mid-month and it was the highlight of the summer. They’ve been to the bay area a handful of times but there’s something so special about southern California-the warmth, the beach, the endless rows of palm trees. We took them to the beach immediately after landing and I’ll never forget their joy that afternoon. You can listen to the squeals here.

Reading: After finishing the stunning, gut wrenching, life-changing “Nightingale” last month, I started ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.’ I foolishly brought it on the trip thinking i’d finish it and didn’t pick it up once-as reading on a trip with littles tends to go. It took me longer to get into it since it’s a series of letters but I could have cried while finishing it last week. It’s the story I needed to keep reading for the rest of my life- have you ever read a book like that? Highly, highly recommend. I’ll be starting All the Light We Cannot See this week along with plenty of homeschooling reading because, well, August.

mother and daughter

Wearing: The one thing I’ve gotten the most wear out of would have to be my swingy midi dresses. I can wear them with a denim jacket, a blazer to dress it up or on its own. I wear them with knits and boots in the fall and I wont ever quit a dress that versatile. It also just feels nice not to have to think about an outfit- it’s already complete right off the hanger and even though it might as well be pajamas, it always looks put together.

Speaking of pajamas, sharing a room with littles for a week reminded me just how much I love nightgowns. I wear a nightgown at least one day a week but only packed nightgowns rather than pajamas since I knew I’d want to be as comfortable as possible. I got hooked on a version of this Target one when I was pregnant with Keogena (I got my sisters hooked too) so I packed that one out of sheer loyalty but this one is so dreamy too.

brother and sister, toddlers, beach day, day at the beach, summer style for kids

minnow swim, california, santa monica pier, beach, kids at the beach, beach day

The kids have been living in their Minnow swimsuits from last summer. I bought them a little big to be able to get at least two years out of them and they totally get away with wearing them as clothes on the way to and from the pool/beach. If you’re into matching swimsuits for littles, these really take the cake.

healthy snack, healthy snacks, summer snacks, beach snacks, healthy picnic

Eating: The best thing about visiting LA, aside from the sun and the sand of course, is the food.  The kids and I are gluten-free and dairy-free, they are plant-based, and O is completely vegan. Los Angeles is our happy place when it comes to food accessibility and we definitely soak it up. If you eat similarly to us, Erewhon Market is like Disneyworld. We made three visits and I pray one day it makes its way to Dallas. Never did I think I’d see a day where a grocery store had more options for us than Whole Foods but Erewhon is my blue ribbon winner by a landslide. I discovered a few new snacks which I’ll be diving into more soon but for now, I have to rave about Culina yogurt which is a coconut plant based yogurt sweetened with maple syrup and Hu chocolate covered almonds which have no junk, just almonds, cacao and coconut sugar. I ate my fair share of Sweet Laurel treats on our trip and am giving my body a break from even the natural sugars so I’m missing these already.

I’m also still hooked on my fab four smoothie, arugula salad and salmon from this post and receive questions on the salmon weekly. You guys, even if you’re convinced you don’t like salmon, add it to your grocery list this week and make it. It’s a winner!

Watching: O and I are watching Band of Brothers because after finishing The Nightingale I just can’t get enough of WWII history. We watch it a couple nights a week and I look forward to it every time knowing I’ll have to watch the Cosby Show afterwards just to take my mind off the fact that what I just watched was real. And, to the surprise of no one, I still can’t get enough of Bon Appetit videos. I particularly enjoyed this doughnut collaboration between Brad and Claire (my favorites) and the Pop Rocks ‘Gourmet Makes.‘ The genre that is tied for first place on YouTube for me aside from the entire British community is Interior Design. I got so much inspiration for the decor of our lake house in this video by Studio McGee and love the room-by-room episodes of Three Birds Renovation. The Children’s Bedrooms episode of their current renovation was such a good one!

Listening to: It’s summer time where nearly all my favorite Podcasters take a well deserved break so I’ll share some podcasts I haven’t mentioned before that I’ve been enjoying this summer.

10 Things to Tell You: This is just an enjoyable listen. I was so moved listening to the episode on Anxiety in particular because as someone who battles it in every day life, hearing someone else’s struggle reminded me of just how important it is to show compassion and be the hands and feet of Christ, showing his love to every one in every day.

What Should I Read Next: I was so happy to discover this podcast earlier in the summer because it came into my life right when I decided I was going to start reading for pleasure again. I’m amazed at the commitment Anne Bogel has made to her passion for books and I enjoy this so much. This episode interviewing a woman who reads 600 books a year was a fascinating listen. O listened to this one with me and our minds are still blown.

Planet Money: An NPR podcast talking about, you guessed it, money. I’ve only listened to a few episodes but I find them so interesting and engaging. I highly recommend you start right here on the episode that breaks down how the price of Coke didn’t change for 70 years. Yowzers.

Lastly, if you guys don’t have the honey coupon app on your computer, open up a new tab as we speak. For real. I am raving. Beaming. Straight up SHOUTING about this thing. If you do most of your shopping and purchasing online like I do, you just add this to your browser and it searches the web for any and every coupon hiding around the internet. I’ve saved something (sometimes big, sometimes small) on almost every single purchase!

I’m so excited to be back in the swing of things. Check back every Monday and Thursday for new content as always. Feels good to be back, friends.

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